Robbing cemeteries is a grave matter and is rampant according to Cllr Jim Ryan

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

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nd@tipperarystar.ie

Cemetery wall in Laois could fall in on gravestones says councillor

Graveyards are being targeted by thieves in mid Tipperary

"Now is the time to consider installing CCTV cameras into these graveyards as a way of catching these culprits once and for all"- Cllr Jim Ryan

Robbing of graves in and around the mid Tipperary area has become a major issue in recent times and a matter which has been brought to the attention of An Garda Siochana.


The issue has been raised in the past at local authority meetings following the disappearance of flowers, ornaments, pots, memorials, decorations and wreaths.


And, Thurles Independent Cllr Jim Ryan has this week once again called on those responsible for a protracted spate of robberies at St Patrick's Graveyard in Thurles to stop what they are doing as it is causing huge stress and horror for those families affected.


Independent Tipperary Councillor Jim Ryan

In a statement to this week's Tipperary Star, Cllr Ryan states that he has been contacted by numerous distressed relatives of people buried in St Patrick's Graveyard in Thurles and also in the graveyards of Littleton and Two Mile Borris.
“These people are telling me that they are sick of items being robbed from their loved ones graves. Items been stolen include flowers, ornaments, small statues, pots and memorials. Some of these items are of huge personal importance to these people and carry enormous sentimental and comfort value to them. It is so wrong for these items to be removed and action needs to be taken.


“I have raised this issue at numerous council meetings and will continue to do so until appropriate and sensitive measures are taken to stop this disgraceful behaviour from happening. I feel, unfortunately, now is the time to consider installing CCTV cameras into these graveyards as a way of catching these culprits once and for all. If GDPR is an issue then locking the gates at night will have to happen,” Cllr Ryan said.


This alarming issue is one which has reared its head in other parts of Tipperary too and Cllr Ryan have been in contact with the Gardai in relation to it.


“I have recently spoken to both Superintendent Pat Murphy and Sergeant DJ O' Dwyer of Thurles Garda Station about this worrying issue and they have assured me that they are taking this very seriously and will do all they can to catch the people involved.


“Unfortunately this is not a new problem as these robberies have been going on for a number of years now but I have given a commitment to the families who have contacted me that I will do all I can as an elected public representative to have this unacceptable situation resolved,” Cllr Ryan said.


The public has been encouraged to contact the local authority or the Gardai if they witness items being removed from graves.